So, where does faith come into play? Gleaning off of Richard Rohr’s statement above and modifying it just a bit, Faith does not need to push the river because it knows it is a powerful flowing river, faith is intrinsically instilled in the river. The river never judges itself on how high, low, slow or fast the water flow is. It just is what it is. A creation of God being exactly as God wants it to be. Along its path when the water flow is high and fast, it carves away at the landscape creating natural works of art. When the water flow is low and slow, it takes the path of least resistance leaving behind a beautiful dry riverbed landscape with rock formations of all different sizes. When the water is low and slow it also allows new saplings to sprout and grow, only to be washed away when the next fast and high-water flow arrives. I river just is, sometimes fast, raging and dangerous. Other times it is slow, calm, peaceful and serene. A river’s flow can only be stopped if the water feeding it becomes dried up or man stops its flow. It is what it is and perfectly content being so. No matter what, a river can only flow in one direction.
God’s love is very much like a river in that it can only flow in one direction, through him and into us. The only way Gods love stops flowing through us is when we ourselves turn our back on God and cut off the flow of his love through us. Believe me when I tell you that I have turned my back on God, believing that I was not worthy of His love. God is a gentleman and much like the river, he does not fight the current. The current of his love is always there. As it is said in Hebrew 13:5…. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” As much as I felt as though God had abandon me, he was always with me. Even though I had turned my back on him, every time I reached out to him while I was living a life of sin, he was always there for me and I do mean always. You see, God’s love cannot be earned. It does not matter what our past looks like. There is nothing we can do as humans to increase or lessen Gods love for us. As Proverbs 8:17 says –
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. It really is that simple.
The primary difference between the flow of a river and Gods love is faith. A river flows on absolute faith that it is exactly as it should be; high or low, fast or slow. It does not fight what it is, and it lets nothing obstruct its flow. The river just flows fulfilling its purpose(s) in life without questioning. It supplies life sustaining oxygen to the fish that live in its water and vital nutrients and food to the surrounding landscape and wildlife. It also supplies the life sustaining water we humans all need to survive. While God is the ultimate supplier of life sustaining needs for the river and all the wildlife it sustains, God is also the provider for everything we as humans need to survive. The difference is, man more often than not lacks the faith of the river.
Either God is everything or He is nothing, there is no in between. If you believe God is everything, that is and of itself is a tremendous amount of faith. However, maintaining that level faith is where we mortals slip. It seems it is easy to maintain a high level of faith when life is falling into place as we feel it should. When our jobs, home, family, and finances are in order nothing can upset or interfere with our faith. It is in these times that many are susceptible to becoming complacent in their recovery or walk with God and by doing so, one can forget how they achieved the level of success they have an achieved and this when their faith starts wandering. Unlike a river that doesn’t let any obstacle cause it to waiver from its faith that everything is just as it is, we start questioning faith. Why is my family struggling? Why is my job on the line? Why am I losing my house? Why, why, why?
We can’t just believe that God is when everything in life is all rosy, and then turn a blind eye and shake a fist at God when challenges and hard times hit us. We need to be like the river and maintain our faith through times of abundance and times of drought. When I start losing faith, I simply will look in the rear-view mirror at the times my faith was wavering and in the long run it is all for nothing. God has always come through. God has always provided all of my needs and a little extra. If your faith is wavering, maybe it’s time to go visit a river and have it teach you how to just be. Remember God is either everything or he is nothing. You can’t have it both ways.
Through Him all things all things are made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3